Air Compressor Advice - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-08-2012, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Air Compressor Advice

I finally have decided that I need a small compressor but have no real idea what currently might be classified as small and "good"?
Most of what I am seeing at Harbor and WMart don't look like much more than a tiny tire compressor with a larger tank. I want something
that will do a bit more than blow wind, the ability to use a small drill motor or impact wrench would be nice and lets not forget a nail gun.
I have no real idea how much cfm output these tools really require for short duration use or how to reasonably match compressor output Vs
tank size Vs tool.
So does anyone here have any advice to share that will help me decide what to get for a hand carried compressor ? Links to specific units would be very helpful.
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-09-2012, 07:22 PM
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Compressors. There's a subject I could go all day on but I won't.

You won't find a "hand carried" compressor that will operate an impact gun or even an air drill. Tools like that require a lot of air. Unless of course you are some behemoth kinda guy who can carry a 20 gallon tank under his arm.

You have to first decide what you want the compressor to do for you.

I have this Campbell Hausfeld unit as my "portable" unit. Operates my air nailer and stapler just fine. Top up some tires, blow out the garden hose, but that's about it's limit.

After that if you want to use air tools you should match (or better) the compressor to the air tool specs. Different air tools have different air requirements. A die grinder for example uses a lot of air.

Simple answer is to buy the compressor with the largest storage capacity and air delivery (CFM) that you can afford or have room for.

Like anything else in life after you buy one and have it for a few years you'll wish you bought a bigger one.

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post #3 of 6 Old 01-10-2012, 01:32 AM
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No replacement for displacement. Vessel first and recharge second, dependant on your usage.

If you are only going to use this for limited jobs you might be OK with a small cylinder but if you want to use tools then you need to feed power into them.

If you have a local Sears they have tags on the compressors that state what they believe the tools will handle, go one size larger.

When buying a compressor spec max PSI, CFM, time for the job, ease of drainage of moisture and noise. They all matter.
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-10-2012, 07:18 AM
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5hp, 2 stage cast iron, upright with a BIG tank. Should be a bunch of used out there in today's economy. I bought one 15 or so years ago and have never needed more. It will even run a small sand blast.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-10-2012, 02:09 PM
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I got the little 3 gall tank pancake comp from HF for $44. Look in 1 of you MC mags for a coupon. Works great!

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post #6 of 6 Old 01-11-2012, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Allan S. View Post
5hp, 2 stage cast iron, upright with a BIG tank. Should be a bunch of used out there in today's economy. I bought one 15 or so years ago and have never needed more. It will even run a small sand blast.
I've been looking for a larger compressor (currently using a 42-year-old Sears that works like new).

I recently saw a 60-gallon compressor sell for $125. That's about 1/10th the original price and about the same price as a small, portable compressor.

You can get some incredible deals on larger used compressors, especially if you have the muscle and means to get them out of somebody's house when they need or want to get rid of one.

As long as they're from a reputable manufacturer where you can get parts if needed, they're a long-term investment and will run forever.

I think this recommendation to look around for a used one is good advice.

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